A man out of time, spangled in the stars and stripe and accompanied by his ever plucky boy sidekick. General Glory was DC’s swipe at Marvel’s very own flag draped hero. The components are all there but where as Captain America has always been played stoney faced and serious, This character embraced the absolute cookieness of a wartime soldier wearing a loud superhero costume as well as the other trapping of Captain America that shouldn’t make sense but somehow do.
But hey it isn’t like General Glory is the first Captain America synthesis, hell even by my count he is the second to feature in my WATN?’s so what makes him stand out so much?
Well for one he came around at the right time and was depicted by the right people.
So who was General Glory anyway?
Week 16: Some general knowledge on General Glory
Who were they?: General Glory first appeared in issue #46 of Justice League America during the height of the Justice League international years. I have said it before on more than one occasion but I loved the Justice League books from that that time and think Giffen and DeMatteis’s run at writing Justice League can’t be beat, The use of humor, seemingly naff characters and shaping that into a handful of different Justice League books in the same time frame. It was this sense of humor that often caused them to poke fun at the other company or even pop culture in general. I could point out how Silver Sorceress who I previously wrote about was a thinly veiled Scarlet Witch and look I did just point that out!
In terms of his origin he does essentially mirror that of Captain America’s back story in all but a few ways he was a regular clean-cut soldier called Joseph Jones who during the war became empowered, Though with a more mystical slant. Being powered by Lady Liberty similar almost to how Liberty Bell is empowered by the spirit of America. Then he fights during WWII teaming up with a trusty sidekick named Earnie and The British hero Beefeater (perhaps a Union Jack stand in?) whose descendant would apply for Justice League Europe membership… Unsuccessfully. He also wasn’t frozen unlike his Marvel analogue rather finding himself forcefully drugged all those years. One interesting aspect of this is that when empowered as General Glory he is at his physical peak but empowered he shows his frail and aged body.
He was uncovered by Guy Gardner and became a Justice League member, Though his fish out of water/shucks/morale spewing personality would drive any of his team mates insane. Although he never got a solo title Glory did tend to make appearances in his old Buddy Guy Gardner’s comic on occasion as well as Lobo where he and his new sidekick a bulldog called Liberty served as comic relief. With his outdated and calm demeanor proving excellent foils to the hot bloodied likes of Gardner or Lobo. Then in an oddly moving issue of Justice League Quarterly in #16 when the aged Jones passed on the General Glory powers to a young detective and passed away.
What have they done recently?: Not much, changing the comedic character’s role to a more serious one sounds good on paper. But when you think it out the comedic aspects to Glory were his defining feature and after the second General Glory was rarely used at all. From what I gather the original General only appeared via time travel in later issues of Booster Gold but other than that the Jones remained pretty much dead or as dead as comic book dead … is dead.
What can we expect next?: In a post New 52 world General Glory has yet to appear. But in all honesty I can’t see him appearing anytime soon, The major publishers seem to have moved away from overt parodies for the time being, at least that is how it seems to me but I’m scratching my head at any in the last few years. Then there is the fact parody characters tend to be pretty one note, The creator brings them in to play on a certain riff and that is it. Sure someone else can give it a go but often the results are mixed. Then there is the fact that that time period as a whole hasn’t been looked at favorably by New 52 DC dare I point out the short-lived Justice League International run. But the future isn’t too bleak since Giffen and DeMatteis are soon to be doing what they do best on Justice League 3000 so if they choose not to dip into the well of Justice League International greatness maybe they will make as much an impact on this new book.
I say it week after week but if there is anyone you want to see featured (provided I can get access to some comics on them) then hit me up and they may just get examined.